Professor's Picks

Craig M. Gay

Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Regent College

Professor Craig Gay cares deeply about Christian living in the modern world. He has just released an exciting new book entitled "Modern Technology and the Human Future" (InterVarsity Press, 2018), which Bill has also reviewed in this month's edition of "Three Inch Reviews." We asked Craig to give us his top book picks for helping Christians think about technology, and he kindly offered the following suggestions and blurbs. Be sure to join us for Craig's upcoming book launch. The event will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd, at 7:30 pm. Details here: hhttps://bookstore.regent-college.edu/blog/craig-

Hans Boersma
Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry
Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life: A Philosophical Inquiry
Albert Borgmann
University of Chicago Press
1984

Not the easiest read, but Borgmann’s thesis – that we are inadvertently allowing our devices to impoverish our lives  – is even more relevant today than it was in 1984.

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies
Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
W. W. Norton
2014
The authors highlight the significance of “technological unemployment,” an aspect of modern economic life that is poised to impact most of our lives in the very near future.
(3 Books) The Shallows; The Big Switch; The Glass Cage
(3 Books) The Shallows; The Big Switch; The Glass Cage
Nicholas Carr
W. W. Norton
2010-2014
Carr’s descriptive accounts of the information technology, digital networks, automated systems and processes, and the impact all three are even now having upon us are well-crafted, nicely-written, and eye-opening.
The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Proper Place
The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in its Proper Place
Andy Crouch
Baker
2017

For thoughtful and creative strategies for limiting the damage our devices can do within our families there is not better book.

The Technological Society
The Technological Society
Jacques Ellul
Vintage
1964

Difficult and frequently exasperating, Ellul’s comprehensive analysis of the hegemony of technology over modern life remains a classic, every bit as relevant today as it was in 1964.

(2 Books) Technology and Empire: Perspectives on North America; Technology and Justice
(2 Books) Technology and Empire: Perspectives on North America; Technology and Justice
George Grant
Anansi
1969; 1986

After reading Grant’s extraordinarily insightful essays on modern technology, you’ll never again be tempted to think that our technologies are simply “neutral” tools. 

Letters from Lake Como: Explorations in Technology and the Human Race
Letters from Lake Como: Explorations in Technology and the Human Race
Romano Guardini
Eerdmans
1994 (originally 1923)

Beautifully-written nearly one hundred years ago, Letters offers one of the most insightful evaluations and critiques of modern technology that I’ve come across. If you’ve found Heidegger impossible to understand, Guardini’s analysis is quite similar and much more lucid.

The Question Concerning Technology
The Question Concerning Technology
Martin Heidegger
Harper & Row
1977

Difficult but short, Heidegger’s contention that the “essence” of modern technology lies ultimately in our way of looking at our world is, I would say, disturbingly accurate.

The Embers and the Stars: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Moral Sense of Nature
The Embers and the Stars: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Moral Sense of Nature
Erazim Kohak
University of Chicago Press
1984

Kohak offers a wonder reflection on the deeply personal nature of being and the ways that our technological systems blind us from recognizing it.

Thinking Through Technology: The Path Between Engineering and Philosophy
Thinking Through Technology: The Path Between Engineering and Philosophy
Carl Mitcham
University of Chicago Press
1994

Thinking Through Technology is a “road map” of Western reflections about technology from Socrates to the mid-1990’s. Extremely helpful!

Technics and Civilization
Technics and Civilization
Lewis Mumord
Routledge
1934

Mumford’s is the history of technological development, an extraordinary achievement. It still makes for fascinating reading.

Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
Sherry Turkle
Basic Books
2011

Turkle’s title says it all. When it comes to chronicling the impact of smartphones and other technological devices upon young adults, no one is better than Sherry Turkle.